Holy Day Calendar


Most churches teach that Christ finished the Plan of Redemption when He was crucified. But the very first event in God’s great plan for man’s regeneration was the death of Christ. We find the operation of this great Sacrifice beginning in Eden, when God killed a lamb or goat, in order to cover the nakedness (type of sin) of Adam and Eve with skins. We find it operating when Abel sacrificed a substitute lamb. And so the Passover is the first of these events picturing to God’s children year by year His great plan.

Numbers 28:16-17: “IN the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.”

This feast was not the 14th, but the 15th. It was the Passover, when the lamb was killed, that was the 14th. The daylight part of the 14th was the preparation for the feast (Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14). Note, in Jesus’ day the Jews celebrated their passover one day late according to the tradition of the elders (John 18:28).

Let us get this point thoroughly established in our minds, for if this is true, as it is, then all of these days are still binding upon us, by New Testament, as well as Old Testament authority!

Notice Matthew 26:5. The chief priests and the scribes, conspiring to kill Jesus, said: “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.” They hastened so they could take and kill Him the day before the feast, or on the 14th Abib (Nisan).

Mark 14:2 says the same thing. Now to establish that the feast day was the day after the Passover festival, and that it was the high day Sabbath-the day after Jesus was crucified, notice John 13:29: “For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag [was treasurer-Fenton translation], that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast….” Surely this proves the feast was the following day-the 15th Abib (Nisan), as all these scriptures positively affirm. For further information on this vital subject, write for our free booklet The Resurrection Was Not On Sunday.

Now let us examine carefully I Corinthians 5:7-8. Churches have applied this to the Passover. Notice it does not say, nor apply to, Passover at alL Let us willingly, prayerfully, study to see what it does say:

For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore LET us KEEP THE FEAST. . . . ” Notice it. Because Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed, therefore let us of the NEW Testament dispensation-because Christ had died- keep, what? Notice it! Not the Passover here which was on the 14th Abib (Nisan)-but let us keep the feast-which was the 15th! The high-day Sabbath of John 19:31! The annual holy day. And, in a larger sense, the feast included all seven of the days of unleavened bread, including the second holy day, or Sabbath, on the 21st Abib (Nisan)! We cannot escape this, if we are yielded to the Lord and the Word of God! There it is, in plain language, in the New Testament! Because Christ was crucified, therefore let us keep the feast! The 14th was the Passover, but in the 15th day of this month is the feast! Let us no longer apply that to the Passover, for it says “feast.”

Why did God ordain these feast days? What was His great purpose? Turn now to Exodus 13, verse 3: “And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt….” This was the 15th of Abib. Verses 6, 8-10: “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord This is done because of that which the Lord did”-(a MEMORIAL)-“andit shall be for a sign”-that is, having also a future meaning-“unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes”-having to do with both works and will-why?-“that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth. . . . Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance. . . .

Can you see the wonderful meaning? Do you grasp the true significance of it all? Do you see God’s purpose? The Passover only pictures the death of Christ for the remission of sins that are past (Rom. 3:25). The accepting of His blood does not forgive sins we may later commit; it does not give license to continue in sin. Therefore when we accept it, our sins are forgiven only up to that time-past sins.

But shall we stop there with only past sins forgiven? We are still flesh beings. We still shall suffer temptations. Sin has held us in its clutch-we have been slaves to sin, in its power. And we are powerless to deliver ourselves from it! We have been in bondage to sin. Let us understand the picture-the meaning.

To what extent shall we put away sin? Not partially, but completely! And, as leaven is also a type of sin (I Cor. 5:8)-leaven puffs up, and so does sin-and, as seven is God’s number symbolizing completeness, we are to follow the Passover with seven days of unleavened bread!

The picture-the meaning-the symbolism, is not complete with Passover alone. Passover pictures the acceptance of Christ’s blood for the remission of past sins. It pictures the crucified-the dead-Christ.

Shall we leave Christ symbolically hanging on the cross? The seven days of unleavened bread following Passover picture to us the complete putting away of sin, the keeping of the Commandments-after past sins are forgiven.

They picture the life and work of the risen Christ-who ascended to the throne of God where He is now actively at work in our behalf as our High Priest, cleansing us of sin-delivering us completely from its power!

To observe the Passover alone, and then fail to observe the seven days of unleavened bread, means, in the symbolism, to accept Christ’s blood, and then to continue in sin-to erroneously say the Law is done away, that we are under grace alone, meaning license, to continue in sin!

The seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread picture the keeping of the Commandments, which is another way of saying the putting away of sin.

Passover symbolized Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of our sins, and the days of unleavened bread the putting away of sin. Pentecost pictures the first part of the spiritual harvest-the calling out of the Church-the called-out ones-which, for the New Testamaent dispensation, began on Sunday-Pentecost, June 17, A.D. 31. On that day the Holy Spirit came to dwell within flesh, as prophesied by Joel

On the fiftieth day (Pentecost) in Old Testament times, two “wave loaves” (Lev. 23:17, 20) were brought out of the habitations of the congregation as the firstfruits unto the Lord. Just so the New Testament Church was gathered out of this world as the firstfruits of His salvation, in fulfillment of the meaning of the wave loaves.

We have all, if we have been converted, become a part of that New Testament Church. We have become part of what was symbolized by those wave loaves.

And just as the wave sheaf was lifted up into the air and waved, symbolizing Christ’s trip to heaven and return, so the wave loaves were lifted up and waved, symbolizing that we too shall for a moment leave this solid earth when we ascend to meet Him in the air (I Thess. 4:16-17) before we return with Him to stand on the Mount of Olives as He begins His millennial rule (Acts 1:11; Zech. 14:3-4).

Just as we found the true Church of God continuing to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover, so they continued to observe Pentecost. Read it: I Corinthians 16:8; Acts 20:16.

Had they not been assembled in a holy convocation on the first Pentecost after everything that was abolished had been done away, we never could have read in our Bibles the sublime record of the second chapter of Acts.

Now a “holy convocation” means a holy assembly of the Church, convoked under absolute authority. Look up the word “convocation” in the dictionary. It is an assembly where everyone is commanded, under authority, to be present. The Sabbath is a weekly holy convocation. We are commanded, therefore, to assemble ourselves together. Each of these annual days is an holy convocation. The early Church obeyed. Do we?

AND THE Lord spake saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial [not a shadow] of blowing of trumpets, an HOLY CONVOCATION. Ye shall do no servile work therein . . . ” (Lev. 23:23-25).

Here is pictured to us that next blessed event in God’s redemptive plan, when Christ shall COME again, in clouds, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God (I Thes. 4:14-17). It shall be “at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall [all] be changed” (I Cor. 15:52).

Unless Christ returns to resurrect the dead, we would never gain eternal life-if there is no resurrection “then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (I Cor. 15:18).

Christ directly intervenes in world affairs at the seventh or the last trump (Rev. 11:15-19). A trumpet is a symbol of war. He comes in a time of worldwide war-when the nations are angry! As soon as the work of gathering in the firstfruits (pictured by Pentecost) is completed at the end of this present age, then Christ will begin to set up again the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16)-to set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people (Isa. 11:11)-to search out and to find His lost sheep that the ministers of the churches have failed to search out and save during this period (Ezek. 34:1-14).

Notice exactly when this takes place! “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they [Israel] shall come which were ready to perish and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (Isa. 27:13).

When will Israel be regathered? At the sound of the trump-at the Second Coming of Christ. Because the churches have forgotten the Festival of Trumpets, many think that the return of a part of the Jews to the Holy Land and the setting up of a nation called Israel now is the fulfillment of this prophecy!

Christ’s direct intervention in world affairs will be the next event in the plan of redemption.

And perhaps the glorious Second Coming shall occur, in whatever year it may be, on this very day of the Feast of Trumpets-who knows? While we cannot say for certain, yet cannot we see this possibility? The crucifixion was upon the Passover day-the very day! The Holy Spirit came, beginning the selecting of the firstfruits of salvation, on the very day of Pentecost. Had not those 120 disciples been observing this annual Sabbath-had they not been assembled there in holy convocation-could they have received that blessing of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit? Repeatedly Jesus warned us to watch, regarding His Second Coming! Could it be possible that, unless we are observing the Feast of Trumpets, as the first-century Church of God was observing Pentecost, that we shall not be ready, or caught up to meet Him? We do not-we cannot, of course say; but we do ask the question. Is it not possible? Let us humbly and willingly yield to walk obediently in all the light.

The Festival of Trumpets is a day of rejoicing-and, as the weekly Sabbath, holy unto the Lord (Neh. 8:2, 9-12).

The Day of Atonement pictures a wonderful and great event, to take place after the Second Coming of Christ, which the world is in total ignorance of because it has failed to see the true significance of these annual Sabbaths holy unto the Lord. It has failed to keep them as a constant reminder of God’s plan of redemption!

The Day of Atonement was instituted forever to keep continually before God’s children and His Church the plan of redemption, to occur after the Second Coming of Christ.

And we find this annual holy day recognized in the New Testament. In Acts 27:9, it is recorded that Paul was on his perilous sea voyage to Rome, “when sailing was now danger- ous, because the fast was now already past. . . .” See the margin in your Bible. The fast refers to the Day of Atonement-the 10th day of the seventh month. Now this day could not then have been past on that particular year unless that day was still in full effect and force and existence. Otherwise the Holy Spirit surely could never have inspired those words! Surely this strongly indicates that this day was still in existence and being recognized thus by the Holy Spirit.

NOW WE come to the festival of Tabernacles-or Feast of Booths-the sixth festival. Let us notice the instruction concerning this occasion:
“Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine. And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter…. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice and they shall not appear before the Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee” (Deut. 16:13-17).

Here is the Festival of Tabernacles, to be kept for seven days, beginning the 15th day of the seventh month of God’s sacred calendar. Notice Leviticus 23:33-35: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord. On the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work therein.”

On the first of these days is a holy convocation-a commanded assembly. No work is to be done. ” And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month” (Lev. 23:40-41).

Notice that it is commanded forever.

Here are pictured those final culminating events in God’s great plan: after Christ has died for our sins to redeem mankind-after He has sent us the Holy Spirit and picked out a people for His Name to become kings and priests through the thousand years-after His glorious Second Coming-after He has finally restored the redeemed by placing all the sins upon the head of Satan, their real author, and separating both him and the sins from the presence of God and His people, thus finally perfecting the at-one-ment, making us finally joined in one-then we are ready for that final series of events, the commencement of the “Marriage of the Lamb,” the actual making of the New Covenant, the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth and the reaping of the great harvest of souls for a thousand years.

This festival is the picture of the Millennium!

Today is not the only day of salvation. Today is a day of salvation. Isaiah said so: chapter 49, verse 8. In fact, the original Greek words of Paul in II Corinthians 6:2 should be translated “a day of salvation,” not “the day of salvation.”

Turn to the book of Zechariah to understand this more thoroughly. In the 12th and 13th chapters we have a picture of Christ returning and the reconciliation of the world commencing. Here the meaning of the Festivals of Trumpets and Atonement is made plain.

Next, notice the 14th chapter. The time is the Millennium. “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (verses 9, 11). It is the time when “living waters”-salvation, the Holy Spirit-“shall go out from Jerusalem” (verse 8). The “waters” are literal as well as figurative. God often pictures His spiritual plan by material events.

In that day, when the earth is safely inhabited, when the Holy Spirit is granted to all mortal flesh, what happens? “And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (verse 16).

Did you notice that the Feast of Tabernacles is only the sixth festival? There is yet another-the seventh!

The Feast of Tabernacles is, strictly speaking, seven days long-to picture the entire Millennium. Seven is God’s number of completeness. Therefore, there must also be seven festivals. Let us notice where it is mentioned: “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you it is a [day of] solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein’ (Lev. 23:34, 36).

This eighth day, technically a separate feast, is called “the last day, that great day of the feast” (John 7:37).

What does this final holy day represent?

Notice what Jesus preached about on that day: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink .. ~ out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive )” (John 7:37-39).

This was Jesus’ sermon giving the meaning of the last great day!

Revelation 20. After the Millennium, what happens? A resurrection! The dead stand before God. This couldn’t include true Christians today, as they will appear before the judgment seat when Christ returns. It couldn’t refer to those converted during the Millennium. They have already inherited the Kingdom during the Millennium, after living out a normal life-span. Those in this resurrection must be those who died in ignorance in past ages! They are not brought to life until after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5).

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